Matadero Madrid center for contemporary creation

Machine Vision: a Trevor Paglen talk

Feb 1 at 19:00 h

19:00 h

Nave 17. Nave una

Trevor Paglen, the artist behind the exhibition Behold These Glorious Times! currently on show at Matadero Madrid, will illustrate and explore the hidden mechanisms in the technologies that precede the development of Artificial Intelligence and Computer Vision and will recount unknown episodes in AI research.

From an AI expert enlisted by the CIA for facial recognition during the Cold War to the harrowing kitten experiments that gave rise to a particular theory of vision, to the controversial university initiative to classify all objects - which then inadvertently turned into a nightmare: Paglen's stories illustrate the multifaceted impacts of progress.

Through this journey, a series of fundamental questions will be asked: in an age dominated by artificial intelligence, what characterises an image? How is it interpreted by us and our technological counterparts? And most importantly, how do these changes affect the fabric of culture, politics and everyday life?


Trevor Paglen is an artist whose work ranges from image-making to sculpture, from investigative journalism to writing, from engineering to numerous other disciplines. He has exhibited at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art in Washington D.C., the Barbican Centre in London, the Secession Palace in Vienna and the Fondazione Prada in Milan, and has participated in group exhibitions at the MET, Tate Modern and numerous other venues. Paglen has launched an Earth-orbiting artwork in collaboration with Creative Time and MIT, contributed to the research and photography for the Oscar-winning film Citizenfour, and created a radioactive public sculpture for the exclusion zone in Fukushima, Japan. In 2016, he won the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.